Big thanks to all who sent me notes in relation to the lovely news that I won the 2016 ILA-Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award. !! I was traveling with Paul in Oregon when the announcement came, with spotty internet, and I'm not on Facebook... so my reaction has been a bit delayed. Please forgive me if you reached out and didn't get a response. Thank you for sharing this with me!
Here's the nutshell version, from the website:
The International Literacy Association (ILA) Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award is a US$500 award given every three years to a promising new poet of children's poetry (for children and young adults up to grade 12) who has published no more than two books of children's poetry.
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: And Other Poems from the Water Hole. Isn't that lovely?! I'm so grateful to the one and only LBH for all the ways he supports poetry and poets, and to ILA and specifically to the committee headed up by Laura Apol.
I really can't think of a better way to be a poet than to be "promising." It makes me think of the wonderful Rilke poem I keep at my desk:
If the angel
deigns to come
it will be because
you have convinced
her, not by tears
but by your humble
resolve to be always
beginning; to be
- Rainer Maria Rilke
I want to always write as a beginner, to see the world with fresh eyes, to stumble through syllables and stanzas. That's where the joy is, truly -- not in the polish, but in the polishing. In that way, each poem is a promise, and each moment we struggle with words holds promise -- when we try, when we write, we are all promising poets.
Tabatha, the Swap Queen herself, and it is so, so special because it is so, so personal. Read on.
by Tabatha Yeatts
In your wildgraced
past and air.
song in taut,
For those of you who don't know, I am a new-ish cello student. I started playing about a year and a half ago, and it's a challenge, and I love it. Read more about my cello adventure here. So you can see why I love this poem so much. Plus, how 'bout those jammedtogether words like "wildgraced" and "windchurned" and "lovepolished" ?? LOVE. Thank you, Tabatha!
And thanks to all of you for reading. May we all find our songs. xo